26 March 2012: A new exhibition, Faith, fashion, fusion: Muslim women’s style in Australia, developed by the Powerhouse Museum will explore the emerging modest fashion market in Australia. It opens on 5 May 2012.
Through the profiles of a group of Australian designer-retailers, the exhibition showcases a new generation of brands that are designing, retailing and marketing stylish clothing for Muslim women to meet their desire to dress creatively and fashionably while still expressing their faith.
Glynis Jones, curator of Faith, fashion, fusion at the Powerhouse Museum, said: “The words ‘faith’ and ‘fashion’ do not often appear in the same context. This exhibition aims to show that they are not incompatible; rather ‘modest fashion’ is one of the fashion industry’s largest potential growth areas.”
“The market for these designers is not limited to Muslim women and women of other faiths, but any woman who for various reasons may not feel comfortable in the often body-conscious styles currently available, but want looser, fashionable clothing that offers more coverage.”
Faith, fashion, fusion features garments, fashion shoots and interviews with six Sydney-based fashion brands – baraka, Fay Tellaoui, Hijab House, Integrity Boutique, Ahiida® and Aida Zein. Whilst most of these brands are based in Western Sydney, their reach is much further with some selling globally through their online stores. In fact, Aheda Zanetti, founder and designer of modest swimwear brand Ahiida®, proudly notes that she has sent her famous Burqini® swimwear to countries where even global delivery company TNT does not go.
“Through bricks and mortar boutiques, Facebook pages and online e-tailing these designers are rethinking the model for retailing and marketing modest fashion,” said Glynis Jones.
Also featuring in the exhibition is the online commentary of two influential Australian fashion bloggers, Mya Arifin and Delina Darusman-Gala, Sydney’s first Muslim fashion bloggers. They share their love of clothing and offer advice on modest fashion, where to buy outfits and accessories, how to make mainstream fashion trends more modest, and their own dressing dilemmas!
The Faith, fashion, fusion exhibition opens up a space where Muslim women can speak more broadly about themselves, their experiences and faith, countering some of the misconceptions and prejudice that exist in Australian society. Through photographs, treasured objects and interviews, a group of well-respected Australian Muslim women share their opinions, challenges and achievements in the exhibition. These women include: author and lawyer, Randa Abdel-Fattah; academic and media commentator, Susan Carland; Australia’s first Muslim surf lifesaver, Mecca Laalaa; members of the Auburn Tigers football team; author Arwa El Masri; academic and activist, Oishee Alam; and President of the Lebanese Muslim Women’s Association at Lakemba Mosque Mona Marabani and her daughter Rayan.
Inspired by the work of photo bloggers like American Scott Schuman and his influential fashion blog The Sartorialist, the exhibition also captures the diversity and creativity of Muslim women’s style through our own street style photo shoot undertaken at events and locations around Sydney.
Faith, fashion, fusion: Muslim women’s style in Australia is showing at the Powerhouse Museum until February 2013. It will be accompanied by a publication of the same name featuring stories, interviews and photographs from the exhibition, with background essays by writer and academic, Shakira Hussein, and Powerhouse Museum design and society curator, Christina Sumner. Paperback, 80 pp. RRP $19.95.
On View: Faith, fashion, fusion: Muslim women’s style in Australia
Dates: 5 May 2012 – February 2013
Address: Powerhouse Museum, 500 Harris Street, Ultimo, Sydney
Telephone: (02) 9217 0111 or infoline (02) 9217 0444
Hours: 10.00am to 5.00pm (closed Christmas Day)
Admission: General admission $12 adult, $6 child, $8 student/concession and $30 family. Powerhouse Museum members and children under 4 years admitted free.
Note to media:
Go to http://www.powerhousemuseum.com/media/?p=120
for media backgrounder on the designers behind Muslim women’s style in Australia.
Media information, images or interviews:
Mandy Campbell, Powerhouse Museum, Tel: 02 9217 0551/0422 9299 27 or email@example.com